Kyle lives in the suburban wilds of Canada with his adorable wife, their rambunctious son, and their adventurous daughter. He writes about shapeshifters, superheroes, and the occasional clockwork beast, moonlights as an editor at Meerkat Press, and has a terrible habit of saying the wrong thing at the most inopportune moments (just ask his wife).
He is a traditionally published writer of flash fiction and short fiction, has worked as an assistant editor and co-editor, and will make his novel-length fiction debut on March 31, 2020, with the release of Beast Heart — a Young Adult Paranormal/Steampunk adventure.
I dabbled in a lot of poetry and creative writing in my youth, but the real tipping point came in my early twenties, when I stumbled upon a short-story collection by Ray Bradbury. After falling in love with his words, I decided, then and there, that I wanted to be a Writer (with a capital W). I’ve been trying to master the craft (and the art) ever since.
I’m a sucker for anything in the Fantasy realm. There’s something magical about making the impossible seem not only possible, but real. I also have a distinct love for Steampunk—I find the whole notion of steam-powered technology to be endlessly fascinating. And the more fantastical, the better.
In terms of the overall narrative, I generally start with the characters. Who are they? What is their world like? What unique challenges are they struggling with in their lives? After that, it’s just a matter of figuring out how they’re going to clash—hopefully in the most gripping of ways. The rest more or less unfolds from there.
I will often rewrite sentences (even the most mundane ones) dozens of times, until I find just the right combination of words to satisfy my pickiness. Sometimes it borders on obsessive. Thankfully, my wife does an excellent job of reminding me to “write forward, not sideways”.
I believe writer’s can get creatively “blocked” for any number of reasons. Stress. Fatigue. Doubt. The list can go on and on. For me, identifying the cause of the block is the first step in overcoming it. Is it because I’m worn out? Maybe I should take a break. Am I trying too hard to be perfect? Maybe I should loosen the reins a bit, and allow more room for error. Am I too worried about what readers will think? Perhaps I should focus on writing for myself, and trust that there will be readers who share my same tastes. There’s usually a solution — you just have to find it.
For me, characters are the most important part. Having a thrilling, imaginative plot is great, but without characters for the reader to relate to—characters for the reader to fall in love with—there won’t be much reason to stick around. Give me flawed, memorable characters any day of the week.
Keep reading, to fuel your imagination. Branch out of your comfort zone, to experience new genres. Engage with other writers and readers—writing can be a lonely, sometimes anti-social profession, so try to form positive relationships wherever you can. And most of all: keep writing stories to completion. Every story you finish is another set of skills learned, and another brick on that road toward your eventual success.